Innovations in aircraft interiors traditionally happen at the premium front end, but a seat created by Factory Design, launching this week, is aiming to buck the trend.
Clark – a lightweight seat manufactured by Acro and aimed specifically at low-cost carriers that traditionally buy in second-hand – will go on show this week at the Hamburg Aircraft Interiors Expo.
Jet 2, the launch carrier for Clark, will also unveil refreshed cabin interiors by Factory this week (pictured, with the seats).
The seat is innovative in terms of its weight, the way it can be assembled and its use of material, claims Factory Design director Peter Tennent. It has been designed with cost-savings on fuel and efficiency in mind .
He explains that, traditionally, seats in low-cost carriers are second-hand and tend to be redressed or upholstered in the airline’s colours. Traditional seats comprise a chassis, a layer of components that enable various functions, and an additional layer to conceal this, which all compound their weight.
Clark, which was developed with Acro’s engineering team over the course of a year, features a bent-hoop construction and composite back panel.
‘Clever profiling’ also allows for more legroom, overcoming a point of irritation for many low-cost passengers.
‘When you’re in the air, weight is king,’ says Tennent. ‘The principle is that, rather than cover up the components, you can see them. They’re designed to be as appealing as possible. The result is an honest construction, that is lightweight and efficient.’
Factory has also refreshed Jet 2’s interior cabins, giving a brighter feel, with a white palette and red carpets.
Bathrooms will also provide a point of difference, according to Factory director Adam White, with each featuring a bespoke look to reflect the flight destinations.
‘We wanted to create some sort of third space with a leftfield idea. We’ve tried to give Jet 2 a coherent approach, so that it’s not just about cost as the lowest common dominator. We wanted to show that low-cost doesn’t have to mean that things aren’t considered,’ says White.
Key design features of the Clark seat
• Modular construction allows any part to be replaced with an Allen key in less than two minutes
• The lightest seat in its class at 31kg per triple. The average weight of low-cost carrier seating is around 41kg per triple
• More legroom than standard low-cost carrier seats
• Easier and quicker to clean for fast turnarounds
• More robust than other economy seats